What Is Stapedectomy Surgery?

Reviewed on 1/14/2021

Inner ear
The stapes is one of the three tiny bones in the middle ear and the closest to the inner ear.

A stapedectomy surgery involves the removal of complete or part of the original stapes bone and replacing it with an artificial device. This procedure restores the transmission of sound waves to the inner ear for hearing.

The stapes is one of the three tiny bones in the middle ear and the closest to the inner ear. Because of the shape of the stapes, it is known as a stirrup.

It’s the smallest bone in the body and has a vital role in transmitting sound waves from the middle ear to the inner ear.

Otosclerosis is a condition where there is an abnormal growth of extra bones around the stapes. This growth causes the stapes to become immobile and doesn’t allow them to vibrate, resulting in hearing loss.

Who is a candidate for a stapedectomy?

Candidates fulfilling the following criteria are ideal for a stapedectomy:

  • Overall good health to tolerate anesthesia
  • Having otosclerosis
  • The presence of an air-bone gap of at least 15 dB confirmed using a tuning-fork test
  • Fair speech recognition

Who shouldn’t undergo a stapedectomy?

People with the following conditions shouldn’t undergo a stapedectomy:

  • Poor physical health
  • Fluctuating type hear loss
  • Current vertigo or balance problems
  • Active middle or external ear infection
  • Deformities in the inner ear
  • Pre-existing hole in the eardrum
  • Less air-bone gap (less than 15 dB)
  • Lateral ossicular chain fixation (immobile bones of the middle ear, which can be corrected by mobilizing the bones through surgery instead of a stapedectomy)

What to expect during a stapedectomy?

A stapedectomy involves the removal of all or part of the original stapes bone and replacing it with an artificial device. This restores the transmission of sound waves to the inner ear for hearing. During the surgery, you may expect the following things:

  • The surgeon may use local anesthesia so that you don’t feel any pain during the procedure.
  • Next, the surgeon performs the surgery through the ear canal and uses an operating microscope.
  • To expose the middle ear bones, the surgeon might lift the eardrum.
  • After removing the stapes and placing the artificial device, the eardrum is put back into the position to heal.
  • The eardrum will be held in position by packing material that is later absorbed by the body.
  • The procedure lasts for about 90 minutes, and you can return home the same day.

QUESTION

What is hearing loss? See Answer

What are the complications of a stapedectomy?

As for any surgery, a stapedectomy also has its share of risks and complications, including:

What is the recovery time of stapedectomy surgery?

After a stapedectomy, you should take care of the following things:

  • You may experience vertigo or balance disorders for several hours to days after the surgery.
  • Avoid blowing the nose hard after the surgery and sneeze with an open mouth.
  • Avoid straining yourselves for 2-4 weeks after the surgery.
  • An audiogram is usually performed 1-3 months after the surgery.

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References
https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/2094916-periprocedure#b7

https://uihc.org/health-topics/stapedectomy#:~:text=Through%20a%20surgery%20called%20stapedectomy,the%20inner%20ear%20for%20hearing

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